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Shops keep violating govt holiday schedule

Sadia Afrin

Shops in different shopping malls and markets in the capital are violating staggered shopping schedule announced by the government in February 2010 with a view to reducing city tailbacks.
Besides food and medicine stores, exempted from the schedule, many other shops including those of shoes, photocopy and stationeries remain open during the holidays, witnesses said. 
A number of shoe stores behind the Dhaka City Corporation market at Gulshan-1 were found open on Sunday, the weekly holiday for the shops and markets of the area, witnesses said.
Shops of Polwell Shopping Center, Capital Super Market and Paltan Super Market in Paltan thana area were open on Thursday, witnesses added.
Furniture shops in front of Bashundhara Shopping Mall in the Panthapath area were also open on Tuesday, holiday for the area.
The government following an inter-ministerial meeting divided the Dhaka city into seven zones in February, 2010 to control the power consumption and to address the nagging traffic congestion.
Shop Owners’ Association organising secretary Shah Alam Khandaker, however, refuted the allegation of shops remaining open in malls and markets during holidays.
He said nothing could be done on the part of the association if the roadside shops were open.
As per the government’s decision, the markets in zone 1 including Banglabazar, Farashganj, Shyambazar, Jurain, Postagola and other areas are scheduled to remain closed for whole day on Friday and for half-day on Saturday.
The markets in zone 2, which includes Rampura, Banashree, Khilgaon, Goran and a portion of Malibagh, Bashabo, are to observe full-day holiday on Saturday and half-day on Monday.
The markets remain closed for the whole day on Thursday and for half-day on Friday in zone 3 which covers the areas of New Market, Eskaton, Moghbazar, Bailey Road, Siddheshwari and Malibagh.
The markets and other business establishments in zone 4 including Karwan Bazar, Hatirpul, Manik Mia Avenue, Razabazar, Indira Road and Monipuripara stay closed for the whole day on Tuesday and for half-day on Wednesday.
The zone 5 which covers Mohammadpur, Adabor, Shyamoli, Gabtoli, Mirpur-1 and 2, Mirpur Mazar and Stadium area keeps closed for the full-day Thursday and half-day on Friday.
In the areas under zone 6 covering Agargaon, Taltola, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Sewrapara, Kazipara, Pallabi, Mirpur-11, 12, 13 and 14, the full-day holiday is observed on Saturday and half-day on Sunday.
In the zone 7, which covers middle and north Badda, Jagannathpur, Bashundhara Residential Area, Satarkul, Kuril, Nikunja-1 and 2 the full-day holiday is on Wednesday and the half-day on Thursday.
The government decision was welcomed by business leaders and shop-owners at that time but the traffic congestion still persists as it was before two years after dividing the city into seven zones.




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